PCs to Drive Growth in AI Edge Processor Market: Omdia

New research from Omdia predicts that PCs will emerge as the primary growth driver in the AI edge processor market over the next four years.
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This insight was unveiled in the 2023 edition of Omdia’s AI Processors for the Edge Forecast, providing comprehensive analysis of the artificial intelligence processor market across various device types.

The report forecasts a significant expansion in the AI processor market at the edge, projecting growth from $31 billion in 2022 to $60 billion in 2028, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 percent. Among the ten device categories covered in the forecast, PCs are expected to play a pivotal role in driving this growth trajectory.

Several factors contribute to the increasing significance of PCs in the AI edge processor market. The availability of advanced processors, such as Intel’s Meteor Lake CPUs and AMD’s Ryzen 7040, 8040, and 8000G processors, along with Apple’s M-series and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Elite X, is a key catalyst. Additionally, the anticipated rebound of the PC market following a slowdown post the COVID-19 pandemic surge in 2020 and 2021 is expected to fuel AI PC adoption.

Alexander Harrowell, Principal Analyst for Advanced Computing at Omdia, emphasized the importance of PC adoption in light of slowing demand from the smartphone sector. With over two-thirds of smartphones already equipped with AI acceleration capabilities, growth in this market segment is concentrated in the premium price tier, indicating saturation.

The forecast delineates the market by various processor types, including in-CPU accelerators, AI-ASICs, AI-ASSPs, GPUs, and FPGAs, across different power and performance bands spanning the ten device classes.

The report highlights a shift in the product landscape, with systems-on-chips introduced in 2018-2019 with basic acceleration gradually phasing out in favor of more powerful alternatives. This transition has resulted in the emptying out of the lowest and middle performance tiers, with growth primarily observed in the top performance bracket (>30 TOPS). Proprietary AI-ASSPs, such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Mediatek’s APU, are expected to drive a significant portion of this growth.

Harrowell further noted, “AI ASSPs will push from 19 percent to 28 percent of the market, largely at the expense of GPUs. PCs are beginning to look more and more like smartphones or tablets as they adopt the CPU-GPU-NPU architecture familiar from nearly all modern smartphones, while in-CPU acceleration has been unexpectedly slow to take off.”

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